We all know deforestation is a major global issue, but it’s hard to quantify just how serious the problem is. According to a wide spread anecdote, 36 football fields’ worth of forest is lost every minute, but this is only the beginning of the story.

Just where are forests disappearing, and where are they returning? The rise and fall of the Earths forests can now be tracked 'real time' through a new mapping tool called Global Forest Watch.

The open-source tool combines satellite pictures, computer algorithms and crowd-sourced data to provide an up-to-date look at the health of forests across the world. The monitoring system was developed with the help of around 40 partners, including Google.

While many of our current environmental issues – not only deforestation, but also global warming, decrease of biodiversity, pollution and mass urbanization – are the result of a clash between the biosphere and the technosphere, it is hopeful to see the technosphere can also be employed to monitor the wellbeing of the biosphere.

Will we be able to balance the technosphere with the biosphere one day? The global forest watch provides us with some hope we may one day move towards a desperately desired equilibrium. For now, here are 9 maps that explain the World's forests.

Personal note: this is my 1000th blogpost on NextNature.net... and counting.

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